A tattoo artist was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of molesting two 14-year-old girls.
Edder Giovani Nieves-Vera, a 29-year-old Mission Viejo resident, was arrested at Dana Point Harbor by the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, which consists of federal and Orange County law enforcement personnel.
On Dec. 21, the parents of a 14-year-old girl told authorities a man had contacted their daughter on Facebook, offering her a free tattoo, drugs and alcohol, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino. The girl and her friend, also 14, met with Nieves-Vera on Dec. 15 at his home in Mission Viejo, where he allegedly offered them drugs and gave them alcohol and tattoos, Amormino said.
"He engaged in highly inappropriate conduct, including sexual advances,'' Amormino said.
In 2004, Nieves-Vera, 29, was arrested by Murrieta police for child annoyance and having false identifying documents, Amormino said. In that case he drove up to a 14-year-old girl walking to school, offering to give her a ride, touch her and take her photo, Amormino said.
Nieves-Vera was sentenced to three years in prison in that case and then deported, Amormino said.
On Jan. 11, investigators started chatting with Nieves-Vera online, with agents pretending to be the 14-year-old girl, Amormino said.
When Nieves-Vera showed up for a meeting to finish the girl's tattoo Tuesday afternoon at the harbor, investigators were waiting with handcuffs, Amormino said.
Nieves-Vera was being held without bail in the Orange County Jail, where he was booked on suspicion of child molestation and communicating with a minor online for sexual purposes, Amormino said.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call sheriff's investigators at 714-647-7000.
--City News Service